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OTR Tire Conference, Day One: RMA says expect truck tire revisions soon

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) could release a revised edition of its truck tire rule, FMVSS 119, as soon as next month, Donald Shea, CEO and president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), revealed at the 2007 Tire Industry Association Off-the-Road Tire Conference today, Feb. 22.

"One thing that will not be included in the rule are retreaded tires," Shea told attendees. "But NHTSA will at some point address retreads."

Shea discussed other legislative issues of importance to tire dealers, including:

* tire endurance and aging tests. "If advanced, a rule on this subject would be an attempt by NHTSA to provide (consumers with) a safety assurance for an undefined period of time. Our challenge is to ensure NHSTA has the correct information."

* tire registration. Shea says that the RMA will work to ensure that tire retailers' concerns are taken into account by NHTSA before any changes would be made to current procedures. (See the January 2007 issue of Modern Tire Dealer for more about paper vs. electronic tire registration.)

* rolling resistance standards. Shea says the RMA will "be alert to the threat of harmful legislation."

During his presentation, Shea also reported that the total number of scrap tires in the United States has fallen to 188 million versus 275 million in 2003.

Today was the first day of the 2007 OTR Tire Conference, which runs through Saturday.

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